We often see this problem present itself n the workplace where a person in a position of authority abuses their power and takes advantage of a subordinate, such as in the article attached, regarding the ex- major of San Diego. The problem is not limited to corporate America but has also been evidenced in our military as well as the Catholic church. The Principle of Dignity of the Human Person is the Justice principle most appropriate for reviewing sexual harassment. Sexual harassment demeans and is not respectful to the person that is being harassed.
In this paper I will examine the moral question, economic and political impact and review the church’s opinion. As mentioned above, if you were to ask someone if it is ever acceptable to then does this problem exist? In a survey done recently by the American Association of University Women it was found that 83% of women and 78% of men had been sexually harassed at sometime. Ninety percent of the time the harassment was done by another student, but 10% of the time it was by a teacher. Those that are the perpetrators of the harassment think that it is funny to do so while others may not realize that they have gone to far.
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It may be that the person is seeking out date and have pushed to far. In the workplace it most often occurs by a person in a position of authority who uses their authority to get something they want or desire. Hollywood movies, TV shows, and music videos often depict this behavior as well. Recent examples in movies are “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Proposal”, and ” Disclosure”. Society is heavily influenced by the media and while morally it may be wrong and people know its wrong, the rationalization of the act becomes easier when they see the behavior constantly in the images around them.
Sexual harassment has a direct impact on economic and societal issues around he globe, including our country, state, city, neighborhoods, etc. The U. S. Department of Labor estimates that the average Fortune 500 Company loses on average $67 million per year in absenteeism, low production and employee turnover as a result of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment has skyrocketed social justice By stitches workforce. The threat of women in positions of power and of working close to men has caused static in the workplace. The impact has had both a Physical and Mental impact on the victim.
Physically a victim may lose or gain weight, become unable to leper well or experience headaches. Mentally a victim may experience depression, stress or have other mental health problems. Treating these conditions leads to an increase in health care costs and requires professionals to assist with the treatment. With these allegations of harassment the workplace suffers through a loss of employee morale, turnover, loss of productivity and increased absenteeism, which represent an economic cost to the employer. The societal impact can put stress on relationships for the victim.
There also seems to be a backlash against victims, such s scrutinizing of their public life, defamation of character and retaliation. Why does this blaming of the victim occur? Most likely it stems from the shock and disbelief that a trusted person would actually do the things that the victim accuses them of doing. Sexual harassment cases have had and continue to have an impact on both legal and political dynamics of society. In 2011 the EEOC registered 11,300 charges of sexual harassment of which 1,400 were settled for a total of $52 million.
There have been major cases as well, for example in 2011 UBS Financial Services was ordered to ay more than $10 million to a former sales assistant that had alleged to have been harassed by a supervisor. The Catholic church has also had scandals of clergy sexual abuse, the church has spent approximately $2. 5 billion in settling these cases. In March 2013 the Archdiocese of Los Angels announced a nearly $700 million settlement. In Minnesota we have not been immune from these allegations and are also in the process of investigating instances of abuse. Politically, sexual allegations are commonly used to try and influence a political race.
Herman Cain as at one point the Republican frontrunner’s for the 2012 Presidential race before an allegation from years before was uncovered and he was forced to drop out of the race. Bob Filler, who was the mayor of San Diego was forced to resign this past Summer after 3 women came forward with allegations of false imprisonment and battery. Original Sin has weakened us and as you can see, no one in our society is immune from possible sexual wrongdoing. The church teaches us that the Foundational Social Justice Is Human Dignity. Human Dignity states that everyone deserves respect as a member of the human Emily.
Sexually harassing another human being breaks this first Social Justice. We also learn in ICC 1944-1947 that every human being has moral and cultural rights and has the right to respect his or her person, again sexually harassing is not respecting another human. Someone that sexually harasses another human being also not following the Cardinal Virtues of Prudence ( ICC, 1806), Fortitude (ICC, 1808) or Temperance (ICC, 1809). It is my belief that through the Social Justice of Dignity and the Cardinal Virtues that the Church Clearly does not condone sexual harassment.